Perhaps you know someone like this: Good at everything—but never calls a lot of attention to himself. No drama. They just get the job done, and done well, and are a pleasure to have around.
Well if that person were a car, he’d be the Honda Accord Sedan. Smart and sensible, four-door Accords have been offered here since 1976, and they’ve been built in the U.S. since 1982. And while they’ve grown larger over the years (and who hasn’t?), they still remain one of the best choices for a family sedan.
Which isn’t to say boring. For the 2011 model year, the Accord got a mild exterior update to help it stay contemporary. It’s a handsome car, understated and, in our tester car’s silver finish, looks more expensive than it actually is—which is a nice thing. The 2012 Honda Accord has to deal with some newer competition, though, including the gorgeous Hyundai Sonata, crisp Volkswagen Passat, and archrival Toyota Camry.
Honda fights back with an Accord driving experience that’s been honed and polished for 36 years. Our tester’s V6 proved smooth and responsive (the four-cylinder is also very smooth and quite fuel-frugal), with 271 horsepower and a five-speed automatic. The steering is light and accurate, while the ride and handling are definitely aimed more toward comfort than ultimate handling. If your taste runs toward sporty and you love Honda products, we’d recommend the Acura TSX sedan (hurry, though, as 2012 is the last model year for the TSX).
Living much like Jaguar’s motto of Grace, Pace and Space, the Accord gives you huge amounts of interior room, especially in the back seat, which is a pleasure for full-sized adults to enjoy, even on longer trips.
For the driver, the instruments are clear and easily read, with a wave-shaped dash that puts the center console within easy reach. On more comprehensively equipped models like our Accord EX-L V6 tester, you end up with a lot of similar-looking switches and controls, but you quickly figure out the few you’ll use most often.
Take a moment to sit in the comfy available leather seats, and you’ll appreciate nice materials all around you, enhanced by a clean modern design, and an overall feeling of being well cared for.
There’s pretty much a 2012 Honda Accord for every budget, too. The very nicely equipped LX four-cylinder sedan starts at just $21,380, which is a lot of car for the money. We’d probably go for the SE model, which gives you nice stuff like alloy wheels, leather interior, heated seats, and a power driver’s seat for a very reasonable $23,901. Honda Accord V6 sedans start at just over $27,000. Our top-of-the line Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation and rearview camera came in at $31,830.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that an all-new Accord Coupe and Sedan are due out as 2013 models. The concept vehicle Honda is showing at the auto shows looks sleeker and more daring than the current model, yet promises to be even more fuel efficient than current models. We can’t wait.
If you can’t wait, there’s certainly nothing wrong with picking up the current model. Few will ever doubt your choice when you buy a Honda Accord. They’re well built, handsome, and do everything quite well. Owners love them, and they also enjoy historically strong resale values. It’s an easy—and smart—choice.